For many, February 14th evokes feelings of love, romance, and stolen kisses. But for many, Valentine’s Day is all about paying $70 for a bunch of flowers that cost $35 on February 13, for watching people who are in relationships moon all over each other, and for having to hear endless repeats of sappy Celine Dion songs on the radio. If you are in this second group of people, do not despair. There are plenty of musicians who feel the same way you do. Some songs are classic Anti-Valentine’s Day songs such as “Love Hurts” by Nazareth and “I Hate Everything About You” by Ugly Kid Joe. Below you’ll find ten more songs to add to your Anti-Valentine playlist.
I Got Some Help I Don’t Need- BB King: Blues music has always been a haven for those who have been mistreated by love and this song by the “King of the Blues” is a perfect example. B.B. King details the reaons why he thinks his wife may be running around with half the town. With lyrics like “The ice man came by this morning/but didn’t leave no ice/the postman stopped by/and he didn’t ring twice” it’s a sure bet that B.B. will be joining the Anti-Valentine’s Day movement soon enough.
Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright- Bob Dylan: Bob Dylan has often been lauded as one of the greatest songwriters in rock history and his war songs moved a generation, but rarely has Dylan been so scorching or direct as in this song. You can almost feel the sarcasm dripping from this song as Dylan assures his girlfriend that he’s not at all bothered by her betrayal because “I ain’t saying you treated me unkind/you could have done better but I don’t mind/you just kind of wasted my precious time/but don’t think twice, it’s alright.”
Just a Friend- Biz Markie: Rap music’s clown prince scored his only mainstream hit with this song about a girlfriend who he keeps catching with other men, only to be told by her that they are all “just a friend.” By the end of the song, Biz finds a friend “tongue-kissing my girl in the mouth” and later warns “don’t ever talk to a girl who says she only has a friend.”
Drinkin’ My Baby Goodbye- Charlie Daniels: In “Drinkin’ My Baby Goodbye”, Charlie Daniels takes the traditional country music method of dealing with a breakup, drowning your sorrow in alcohol, to extremes. Through the course of the song, he promises us that “If it takes all night/I’m gonna do it right/I’m going to sit here ’til I can’t see”.
I Can’t Quit You Babe- Led Zeppelin: In this cover of an Otis Rush tune, Robert Plant acknowledges his lack of ability to end a bad relationship, even though “you messed up my happy home/made me mistreat my only child”. He does decide to take a break however, saying “I can’t quit you baby, but I’m going to have to put you down for a while.”
You Done Me Wrong- Mike Rayburn: Comedian Mike Rayburn takes a “glass half-full” approach to his breakup song, saying that he “had no great expectations/and you lived up to your reputation” but is ok with it because “true love was not what I was after/for a moment I thought it might have been meant to be/you never could be true/but you did the one thing you could do/you done me wrong/but at least you done me.”
All the Best- John Prine: In “All the Best”, John Prine tries his hardest to be diplomatic with his ex and wish her happiness in her future but it doesn’t work out so well. With lyrics like “I hope you don’t do like I do/and ever fall in love with someone like you” there’s no doubt about his true feelings on the subject.
Flushed From the Bathroom of Your Heart- Johnny Cash: Taken from Cash’s legendary Live a Folsom Prison album, this song is about as final as a relationship gets. Cash uses a number of rather colorful metaphors to put a point to the end, saying “up the elevator of your future/I’ve been shafted/In the calendar of your events/I’m last week” and “Now you say you got me out of your conscience/I’ve been flushed from the bathroom of your heart.”
My Good Gal- Old Crow Medicine Show: OId Crow Medicine Show turns it up a notch in their Anti-valentine’s day song. They start off by telling the audience that “My good gal ain’t no good for me/’cause she ain’t got the courtesy/to shut the door when she’s been playing whore” and end up by putting a rather final end to the relationship “well I drove her out of town/and I shot her down/and I left her there/in the cold cold ground/my good gal ain’t no good to me/not even in her memory”.
Every Little Bit Hurts- Paul Thorn: You know from the very first lines of this song, “I soaked all your pictures/in gasoline/I prayed for a miracle/but the phone never rang,” that Paul Thorn is absolutely an anti-Valentine’s Day kind of guy. In “Every Little Bit Hurts” from his Hammer and Nail album, Thorn laments a relationship gone south with lines like “I cried on the front porch/and I cursed your name/I waited ’til sundown/then I lit the flame.”